“Many of us seek ‘higher states of consciousness’ and more perfectionism, while Jesus simply comes ‘and lives among us.’” -Richard Rohr
I certainly find myself seeking higher states of consciousness. Why? Well……when I think of being in a higher state of consciousness, then someone else must be in a lower state. Simple, if I am higher than you are lower. This settles very well with my ego.
But ……How many times have I affirmed the power of your Divine presence in my life? How many times do I observe the evidence of the presence of a Higher Power in the simple observations of a smile, a sunrise, a hug, a random act of kindness, the morning bird songs, and this morning’s sparkles in the snow?
I’ll reconcile this to my human nature with gratitude. I’ll offer the gratitude that it is my very human nature that offers me the vision of the simplicity of life and can so easily distract me from the simplicity of life. This tension between ego and Spirit is the life exercise that strengthens either the ego or the divine simplicity. My challenge is to continue to exercise the tension.
I think of Jesus and the 12 Steps. It sounds crazy to me, but there are a lot of parallels. He needed help to complete His purpose in life. Someone breast fed him and changed His diapers. (Can you imagine Joseph gagging on the stench of a dirty diaper and wondering how this could be a savior?) Someone taught Him about His Higher Power as He certainly knew His Jewish history and scriptures. As He lived among us he must have worked the first three steps with every breath (I can’t do this alone, there must be a power greater than me, and turning my will over to this Higher Power.) The Christian scriptures report that prayer and fasting were the keys to His knowledge of the power of God, His Father. He applied the principles of scripture to every aspect of His life while serving us. This certainly sounds like a 12 Stepper to me.
Prayer, fasting and meditation were the keys to His sobriety. With all the attention given to Him, both in worship and condemnation, His ego and emotions must have gotten a daily work out. His sobriety was the grace that fed His community 2000 years ago, and it feeds us today. His sobriety is our celebration today. It is what we bring to each other as our pain and suffering feed our fellowships, offering us serenity, courage and wisdom.
In our meetings and our daily work of sobriety, we simply live among one another.
Yes, I am sure my exercise of the tension between ego and divine simplicity will carry me to my grave and beyond. But while I am in this world, I will continue to look forward to our gatherings beside the waters. This is where we will continue to share our stories, our tensions, and our divine simplicity. Our stories will be of our individual experiences with Higher Power. We will continue to challenge each other to come down from our higher states and enjoy our divine simplicity. We will continue to thrive in our scared sobriety, and rest.